US President Donald Trump has issued a stern warning to Iran, suggesting it will be destroyed if a conflict breaks out between the two countries.
“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” he said in a tweet on Sunday. “Never threaten the United States again!”
Mr Trump’s tweet marks a shift in tone after recent attempts to downplay the possibility of military conflict.
In an interview with Fox News broadcast on Sunday, the president vowed that he would not let Iran develop nuclear weapons but said he did not want a conflict.
“I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly – by far most importantly,” he said.
President Trump, after appearing to dial down the tensions with Iran, has now seemingly threatened catastrophic consequences if there is any attack against US interests or facilities.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted in response that such “genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran'”.